All or Nothing

 In Blog

So what makes Frank Sinatra so cool? You might say its the voice, or the hair, or the fact that he had sex with Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow in the same lifetime. I think its more basic. I think its his uncompromising commitment to be himself, at all times and in all circumstances.

Maybe more than any artist of the 20th century, he never wavered from what made him great. Though styles and sounds changed radically throughout his career as we ushered in Rock n Roll, Jazz, Disco, Blues, R&B, Punk, Soul, and Pop – Sinatra never changed his stripes, he never abandoned the romantic ballad.

And I think there is one massive, not so subliminal lesson to be learned from Frank, and that is this: if you lose your conviction, you lose your way.

If you think about the truly innovative businesses of the last 50 years, they are almost always driven by someone who was relentless and steadfast in the pursuit of their vision, often in the face of extreme opposition and criticism.

Apple’s Jobs stayed focused on design, even as Microsoft dominated the market. Google’s Brin and Page stayed focused on search in a world dominated by ISP’s and portals. Facebook’s Zuckerberg stayed focused on product even as Myspace’s traffic skyrocketed.

It takes a certain amount of madness to refuse to listen to the voices of conventional reason that are all around you, pulling you and pushing you toward mediocracy.

We’re all conditioned to be normal, to fit in, to gravitate toward the middle. We’re taught that anything in excess is evil. And yet in order to innovate, in order to build something or try something that has never before been attempted; you can’t be normal, you can’t fit it, you can’t live in the warm belly of the center. You need to go the edge and jump. There is simply no other way.

So take a lesson from the Chairman of the Board himself……………

“Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew, when I bit off more than I could chew, but through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out, I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way.

-Eric Lefkofsky

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